San Marino vs Hungary – Preview

SERRAVALLE, ITALY - OCTOBER 14: Andy Selva of...
Andy Selva - San Marino's very own David Beckham

Tonight Hungary face the worst team in Europe, San Marino, who come off the back of 1-0 loss to Finland on Friday in a vital European Championship qualifier. The last time Hungary and San Marino faced each other, Hungary won 8-0 in Budapest but 3 of the of the goalscorers from that night will not be playing for the Magyars.

For Hungary it’s a must win game, as they continue their quest to qualify for Poland/Ukraine next year. They currently sit in third place, 3 points behind Sweden in 2nd, but having played a game more.

San Marino have their star performer and all-time top goalscorer Andy Selva back from injury, and he will definitely Hungary’s main threat tonight. Selva missed the game in Budapest last October, and San Marino definitely missed his presence up front.

The San Marinese side are often considered the worst team in the World, having only ever avoided defeat on 5 occasions, and only ever managing one victory in their history, but Friday’s game showed that they have improved immensely since last October, and were unlucky not to come away with a draw against the Fins.

Andy Selva missed a good chance in the first half at 0-0 and had a stone-wall penalty claim turned down too. Mikael Forssell was the difference between the sides, but that was only one of two chances that the Fins had throughout the whole game which shows how well organised the San Marinese defence has become in recent months.

Obviously I maybe overrating San Marino slightly here, but with Hungary only managing to beat Luxembourg 1-0 on Friday, a draw could easily be a possibility if the Magyars don’t get their act together.

That goal on Friday came from Imre Szabics who had been frozen out of the National Team since 2006, due to bad form and numerous injuries.However, he’ll be starting today alongside ex-Liverpool youngster Krisztian Nemeth who will be getting his first start for the National Team. The pair linked up well on Friday and were unlucky not too add more than one goal to the scoresheet in their half together.

The midfield will be similar to Friday’s game with Dzsudzsak occupying the left hand side, Koman on the right and Hajnal and Elek in the middle – Hajnal playing slightly forward. The midfield contains a lot of creativity with Koman, Hajnal and Dzsudzsak all possessing the ability to unlock defences in a flash.

The defence is identical to Friday’s game with Vanczak, Juhasz, Liptak and Laczko all keeping their place. I don’t expect them to be troubled very often, but Laczko and Vanczak will look to get forward at every possibility to help with the Hungarian attacks.

Egervari has also opted to go for experience in goal with Gabor Kiraly replacing youngster Adam Bogdan.

If Hungary nab an early goal I can imagine the score being 4 or 5, but if they play like they did in the first half against Luxembourg throughout the whole game and San Marino are as organised defensively as they were on Friday, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hungary become the 5th nation to fail to beat San Marino tonight.

Hungary Starting XI: Kiraly – Vanczák ,Lipták ,Juhász, Laczko – Elek – Koman, Hajnal, Dzsudzsák – Szabics, Németh

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